I came across this article the other day because of its mention of Jedis – it proves to be the most hilariously stupid and self-contradicting piece I’ve read all week. Don Walton, an evangelical Christian minister attacking others for their ridiculous ‘made up’ beliefs:
“In this day of rampant relativism, when everyone is encouraged to make up their own truth and no one is permitted to criticize another’s concocted convictions, feelings have replaced facts as the foundation of faith. In other words, whatever you feel good about believing is “truth” enough, regardless of whether or not it flies in the face of facts and logic. Everyone is now free to make up their own beliefs, as well as their own “facts” in support of them. Consequently, today’s world is becoming increasingly populated by “make-believers”; that is, people who believe what they or others have made-up. On the other hand, real believers — people who believe in real things — are becoming increasingly scarce.”
What he was talking about was the SF fans in Britain who put ‘Jedi’ down on the last national census for the part asking about religious affiliation, as well as having a snigger at Tom Cruise and the Scientology malarkey thought up by a second rate SF writer. He totally misses the point that most fans in the UK put ‘Jedi’ on their census because it was a joke – it went round the web as a suggestion before the census and many fans put it on because if a certain amount of respondents had that the government statistics folks have to create an official category for it in the records (which doesn’t make it an officially recognised religion able to make charity status for tax relief etc, just makes it funny because the grey suits in the statistic departments of government have to add ‘Jedi’ in as a category in official figures). So he starts from a flawed basis and displays not only ignorance of what he is talking about but also a lack of understanding of the humour fans were showing by making this their answer on their census forms (yeah, Don, it was a joke – most Brit Star Wars fans aren’t seriously devoted to the Jedi belief system).
Now as for having a dig at the Scientologists, fair enough, they and their celebrity adherents do rather set themselves up as easy targets and it doesn’t help that L Ron Hubbard just made it all up a few decades ago (Larry Niven took the mickey out of this in Inferno, his take on Dante in which he has an SF author go to Hell after dying at a convention; he is sentenced to Hell for the blasphemy of making up his own religion. It’s a hilarious read). But whacky as Scientology seems to me I don’t see anything weirder in it than believing in Virgin births, resurrecting the dead, burning bushes, women being turned into pillars of salt, humans being made out of dust (or a rib for that matter).
And I love the way he talks about ‘real’ believers and ‘make believers’ and how the former have religion based on logic and facts! I mean come on, are you at all familiar with the concept of irony, Don? Your religious cult differs in no way from these others you are bashing – it recognises no logic and picks and chooses what ‘facts’ it will accept and which it will ignore, even in the face of overwhelming evidence (like, for example, the evolution subject, where many of your fellow believers choose which ‘facts’ make them feel good – so much for logic and truth) so for an evangelist to invoke ‘facts’ and ‘logic’ is laughable and exposes your system for the ridicule it richly deserves. But you did make me laugh with your ignorant and self-contradictory statements (bit like the Old and New Testaments now I come to think of it, never seem to be very compatible). Just a shame some weak-minded numpties unable to think for themselves will blindly believe you and go along with what you say. Oh and one more thing, but after seeing your picture on this article I can only add “should have gone to spec savers.”